The Seville European Film Festival, which is holding its 12th edition from 6th to 14th November, is currently putting the final touches, with its competitive sections, special screenings, mini-seasons and retrospectives,to a wide-ranging quality programme. Hailed by the film-loving public in the city as an unmissable event and a unique opportunity to enjoy the best of European cinema in Seville, the SEFF is again offering a selection of films that takes in great names in European cinema, titles that have been acclaimed at international festivals and new looks which bring fresh discourses and updated subjects to the SEFF screens. With the last titles still to be confirmed, the festival is presenting the following advance programming.
OFFICIAL SECTION IN COMPETITION
The SEFF’s Official Section in competitionis filled with titles as yet unseen in Spain, including ‘Arabian Nights (Vol. 1, 2 y 3)’ by Miguel Gomes. It is the trilogy of the year (the second part has just been pre-selected to represent Portugal at the Oscars). Gomes, responsible for films such as ‘Tabú’ or ‘Our Beloved Month of August’, is offering a version of “A Thousand and One Nights”, set in present-day Portugal. With its mixture of reality and invention, its humour and its touches of fantasy, Gomes transposes Scheherezade’s tales to one of the countries most crippled by the crisis.
The son of the late Russian filmmaker Alexei German, Alexei German Jr is competing in the SEFF’s Official Section with ‘Under Electric Clouds’, an enveloping, hypnotic, visually magnificent film that received a special award for its photography at the Berlin Festival. In the Russia of 2017, a hundred years after the Revolution, seven stories intertwine around a colossalhalf-built building, as apocalyptic parables of the emotional and philosophical landscape of present-day Russia.
Greek cinema will be represented by the provocative director of ‘Canino’, Yorgos Lanthimos, who is presenting at the SEFF ‘The Lobster’, a production that won three awards at Cannes and has an international cast led by Léa Seydoux, Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly. This time it follows the paths of bewilderment with the story of a man who, after being abandoned by his wife, is confined to a hotel where singles go. There, he will have 45 days to find a mate and, if he fails, he will be changed into an animal.
The latest, delicious film by the veteran Philippe Garrel, ‘In The Shadow Of Women’, will be competing in the Official Section with ‘Two Friends’, the first film by his son Louis Garrel, a surprising comedy presented in the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes. Both French films deal with the capricious comings and goings of every love triangle: first, through the story of a couple of documentary film makers whose life is disrupted by a female student-trainee, and in the case of the son, with the adventures of two friends who fall in love with the same woman.
After ‘Gomorra’ (2008) and ‘Reality’ (2012),the Italian Matteo Garrone returns to Spain and the SEFF to open his new and awaited film, ‘El Cuento De Los Cuentos’ (Tale of Tales) starring Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassell. The film breaks with his previous filmography and moves into the terrain of fantasy with an extravagant macabre tale, a free adaptation of “The Tale of Tales” by the 17th century Neapolitan author Gimabattista Basaile, which tells the story of three kingdoms and their respective monarchs.
THE TIME OF MONSTERS–SPECIAL GALA OUT OF COMPETITION
The SEFF will present, in a special gala, the premiere of the latest film by Félix Sabroso: ‘El tiempo de los monstruos’. It is the last script written by him, that finally did not get to be filmed with Dunia Ayaso, his creative companion who died in 2014 and with whom he wrote films such as ‘Perdona, bonita, pero Lucas me quería a mí’ and ‘La isla interior’. In this unusual comedy, Sabroso makes an ingenious reflection on fiction and its limits and even ventures into the garden of fantasy. Pirandello and Resnais are present in this story of a director who decides to commit suicide and leave his team the task of making his posthumous film, with such great actors as Javier Cámara, Candela Peña, Carmen Machi, Julián López, Secun de la Rosa, Jorge Monje, Yael Barnatán, Antonia San Juan, Pepón Nieto and Pilar Castro.
NEW WAVES/NON-FICTION SECTIONS
No section reflects so well the open, avant-garde nature of the Seville European Film Festival as New Waves does.From the perspective of both fiction and non-fiction titles, each year New Waves offers daring, ground-breaking films in its support for the most innovative, creative voices on the panorama of new European cinema.
So New Waves/Non-Fiction has selected some of the most daring, relevant works in international production. One example is‘ The Event’ by the prestigious Ukrainian documentary filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, of whom previous editions of the SEFF have shown titles such as ‘In The Fog’ (FIPRESCI award in Cannes) and ‘Maidan’. Shown in Venice and Toronto, this film is an epic work built on archive material, which talks of the failed coup in 1991 in Moscow, an essential breaking point in history, marking the end of the Soviet Union.
The pioneer Belgian director with a long career and an acerbic view, Chantal Akerman presents ‘No Home Movie’, a film that, in its title, acknowledges the home movie forms that it uses, and talks about the loss of home through a series of meetings between the director and her mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who died in 2014 and whose last days are portrayed here.
Also in New Waves/Non-Fiction we will see ‘La France Est Notre Patrie’, the latest film by the Cambodian Rithy Panh, who recently released in Spain ‘The Missing Picture’, winner of the Un Certain Regard award in Cannes. Panh, who twice won the EFA Award for Best Documentary, is presenting here a film made completely from archive material from the first half of the 20th century, with which he tells the history of the French colonies from thepoint of the view of the conquered (and therefore exploited), delivering a striking, immortal commentary with irony and dark humour. Ben Rivers, a filmmaker who won awards at CPH:DOX, Rotterdam and Venice, represents the freer, more experimental side of English non-fiction. On this occasion he allies with Oliver Laxe in‘The Sky Trembles And The Earth Is Afraid And The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers’, inspired by the short story “A Distant Episode” by Paul Bowles,transformed into the “Making Of” of Oliver Laxes’ film in a delirious journey through the Moroccan Sahara.
In the EFA Selection, the festival looks at the best titles among those pre-selected for nomination to the European Film Academy awards (which, as is now traditional, will be announced at the SEFF), thus achieving a setting for their launch in Spain.This is the case of the premiere in Spain of ‘Body’, the film with which the Polish director Malgorzata Szumowskawon the Best Director Award at the Berlinale, a film with unusual humour that talks about the human body in its different forms through the story of a medical examiner and his daughter who is suffering from anorexia.
And also in the EFA Selection there is‘The Measure Of A Man’ by Stéphane Brizé (‘Mademoiselle Chambon’, ‘A Few Hours of Spring’). Vincent Lindon, who won the Best Actor award at Cannes for this role, is the lead in this story inline with the times of crisis, about a man who, after bring unemployed for 20 months, is faced with a moral dilemma when he finallygets a job.
RETROSPECTIVE PAUL VECCHIALI
Paul Vecchiali has been one of the most singular and appreciated voices in French cinema since he began his career in the 60s as aproducer of Jean Eustache’s first films, before setting up his own production company, Diagonale, in 1976. The filmmaker will visit Seville to present the world premiere of his new film ‘C’est l'Amour’, and the Spanish premiere of his two previous feature films which were shown in the official sections at Marseilles and Locarno: ‘Faux Accords’and ‘Nuits Blanches sur la Jetée’. Also, the SEFF will be showing a retrospective of his work that will include the fundamental titles in his filmography. A close friend of Jacques Demy,Vecchiali collaborated as a critic in publications such as Cahiers du Cinéma and Revue du Cinéma. His numerous works have been shown at Cannes, Venice, Locarno and Marseilles. His film, ‘Femmes, Femmes’, a 1974 cult classic, captivated Pasolini to such an extent that he decided to incorporate the leading actresses (with their characters) into his ‘Salo or 120 days of Sodom’. In 1987 he became the first director to link AIDS with homosexuality in a French film, his ‘Encore’, which won two awards at Venice.
Download high definition videos and images of the films in the Press Area of the Festival’s website